Feeding people while reducing climate impacts

By Charlotte Fairlie, current Table to Table volunteer

While Table to Table’s mission statement focuses on alleviating hunger, increased understanding of the contribution of food waste to climate change has led to greater awareness of our positive environmental impact. Rescuing food reduces resource use as well as emissions at both the production and landfill stages of the food system. Even accounting for our present fleet of conventional vans, we are significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. According to a 2019 study, “The yearly total emissions saved after T2T vehicular inputs is equivalent to the CO2 emissions from 17,400 pounds of coal burned or more than 2 million smartphones charged or about 39,000 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle” (Ayers, Thomas, Wiener).

Over our next 25 years, we will continue doing our part to help Iowa City reach its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

As far back as 1999, T2T leaders were focused on education and the global good. In a related memo that year, Frank Lalor remarked, “It’s great getting pounds and pounds of food, but from an ecological and global point of view, we have much to learn. Perhaps our group can focus on these points, and thus help to make the world locally and globally a better place.”